ROSIE ON THE HOUSE

Here’s how to take good care of your appliances

Jun 13, 2024, 5:49 PM

(Shuttershock Photo)...

(Shuttershock Photo)

(Shuttershock Photo)

We all have several appliances throughout our home. Most of the time, they work great. When they don’t work great, that’s another matter.

Daniel Beyer with Beyer Appliance Service Inc., a Rosie on the House Certified Partner, shares with us the most common repairs and what you can do to help prevent repairs.

Refrigerator

Arguably, our refrigerators might be the most used appliance. From opening and closing the door a hundred times a day, to getting water or ice from a dispenser, this appliance gets a considerable amount of wear and tear.

Door seals can wear out. Check the seals by sliding a piece of paper between the frame and the gasket. If the door closes and holds the paper, you are good to go. If not, first try to clean the gasket surface. If that doesn’t help, it’s time to replace the sealing gaskets. Keeping the gasket clean will help prolong its life.

Refrigerators that dispense water or have an ice maker have filters and plastic water lines.

The dispenser filters need to be changed every six months or so. Clogged filters are a common service call at Beyer Appliance Service.

If your refrigerator is eight to 10 years old, then the plastic water lines are becoming brittle and can break. If they break when you are not home, the standing water can cause significant damage. Daniel recommends changing those lines.

Daniel also recommends moving the refrigerator away from the wall and cleaning the coils on the back. This can be done with a vacuum. Yeah, it does get nasty back there, but cleaning the coils is important. Plus, you will be shocked at what’s been trapped underneath.

Dishwasher

Drain pump fails are a common repair. The best way to avoid pump repair is to keep the inside of the dishwasher clean. When the pump fails, it usually needs to be replaced.
Another common repair is clogged filters. The filter in your dishwasher is generally either in one of the back corners of the dishwasher tub or under the bottom cleaning arm. Read your appliance’s service manual to learn how and when to replace your specific model’s filters.

Daniel notes that today’s dishwashers tend to be more energy efficient. That usually means the pump used to drain the water is likely smaller and less powerful than older models. If water is sitting in the bottom of your dishwasher after a cycle is completed, the first thing to check is the drain line under the kitchen sink. If the line is lower than where it connects to a main drain (usually the garbage disposal), raise the line so the siphoning effect that assists the draining process can operate.

Stove Tops and Ovens

Most stovetops today have a glass top. Cracks and breaks on those tops are helping Daniels’ employees stay busy. Be careful what you put on glass stovetops. Heavy pots and pans, dropping things on top, and people climbing on the stovetop will break it. Yes, people climb on top of the stove. Don’t ask. In any case, the glass is not designed to support too much weight. Check the owner’s manual for specifics. Also, make sure the anti-tipping bracket, used to stabilize the unit when the oven door is open or other pressure is put on the unit, is securely in place.
Ovens need to be cleaned with regularity, depending upon use. Common problems come from burned-out heating elements and gasket replacement. Before using the self-cleaning setting on the oven, make sure dirt and grime are not caked on the inside surfaces. Build-up can cause a fire or at the least, ruin a meal. Clean the sealing gasket regularly with mild soap and water.

Washers and Dryers

A smelly washer is a frequent complaint. Daniel tells us front-load washers are particularly prone to moisture and cause mold to build up. He suggests leaving the door open when not in use to dissipate any latent moisture build-up. If you have pets or young children, make sure they cannot access the laundry area when the washer’s door is open.
Most breaks are caused by putting heavy objects in the washer. Tennis shoes are a big “no” in Daniel’s book. Always check pockets before washing. Small, hard objects can get into the pump and break it.

Before you wash a new piece of clothing, check the label to be sure it is machine washable. Some pillows are not machine washable and can turn into a nasty goo in your washer.
The lint that builds up in the dryer’s filter and exhaust vent is a common reason for a service call. Clean the lint filter after every load. Have the exhaust vent cleaned annually. If you don’t remember the last time you had it cleaned, it’s time to get it cleaned again.

Microwave

The painted interior surface of the microwave needs to be clean and intact. It is a critical part of the microwave’s health. Clean the interior with mild soap and water, and do not use abrasive cleaning tools. Cover what you are cooking. That is a big step in keeping the interior clean.

The better you keep your appliances clean and free of damage, the longer they will last.

Join Rosie on the House every Saturday from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM. If you’d like to send us questions or comments, email info@rosieonthehouse.com. Follow us on X and “Like” us on Facebook. For more do-it-yourself tips, go to rosieonthehouse.com. An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert since 1988, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program. Call 888-767-4348 with questions and comments.

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Here’s how to take good care of your appliances